Saturday, August 18, 2012

No Rain Yet

The drought continues. It is so dry that everything is either dormant or dying. I have yet to receive my water bill and I have no idea what all that watering last month will cost me. That was nearly a month ago and I simply could not afford to keep it up with my 16 hours a week work. I had to pay for my lawn mower repair and service out of my savings. But 16 hours is just enough with all I have going in my life. It is barely enough to get by on financially though.

Today I will meet Bob for breakfast in a couple of hours. Right now I am drinking some leftover coffee from yesterday. I think we are both saving money by cooking instead of buying TV dinners and eating out and I know it's got to be healthier. After awhile I will be able to tell for sure. I am going to use my debit card for all grocery purchases so I can tell after a full month if we are saving money this way.

The microwave oven is still acting up. I may have to break down and call the repair man over it. I am just nursing it along. The switch is going out on it. Sometimes it simply doesn't cook and sometimes the blower comes on without cooking. It depends on how I press the switch. The last time I had it repaired it cost $169. It wasn't very old when that happened. Bob was still here and he wrote the check for it. We bought it new in 2003 so it's nine years old. It's something all the time. But that's upkeep, I guess.

I sent a pair of shoes back to QVC and I received my refund this morning. They are good about taking things back. Those shoes killed my feet and I gave them to Leslie and they hurt hers too. So I got permission to return them. They even paid for the return.

I will meet Melissa at lunch in Dearing at the King restaurant. Karen asked me a week or so ago if I would direct next year's reunion (church camp). I told her I would think about it and ask Melissa to co-direct with me. I have already asked Leslie if she would be the financial officer for it if we decide to do it. She said she would. Maybe that will encourage Melissa. I need to give my answer to Karen soon so she can find someone else if we can't do it.

I turned my mattress this morning when I changed my bed. I had no idea if I could do that myself without help but I managed. It is beginning to show a depression where I sleep. Now I will sleep on the other side a while.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Laid Back Friday

Today I just took it easy. I cleaned my bare floors and ran the vacuum this morning but this afternoon I went through my recipes and looked up recipes I could use to plan dinners for next week.

We had tuna noodle casserole, veggies and a relish dish today. Then we had cookies and peaches for dessert.

Then I took a nap in the recliner and later went to the collector's malls and looked around. I am looking for a couple of things. I am missing one of my good Fostoria stemmed glasses. I have no idea where it might have gone. I have looked the house over but have not run onto it. I still have to check the garage and shed. There's always a chance I took a glass of ice tea out there and accidentally left it there.

I will dust sometime tomorrow. That's all I lack besides cleaning the bathrooms. I might also do some laundry if there's enough to make a load and perhaps get around to trimming my yard and hedge.

I only hope it rains tonight.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another Ordinary Thursday

I will be working this afternoon as usual but this morning I have no plans outside of fixing dinner at noon. Bob got a clean bill of health yesterday after his CT scan was read. I'm glad he doesn't have to have another CT scan unless he develops symptoms. No one needs any more radiation in today's world.

Maybe I can trim after the sun comes up this morning. My yard has looked so ragged and messy for weeks. At least until the rest of my neighbor's leaves fall, my yard looks much better. The grass has gone dormant because of the drought and is almost all yellow. It's all I can do to stay ahead of her leaves which mainly fall in my yard.

I woke up very early again this morning and finally just got up at 4:00. I thought I would sleep longer after all that raking and bagging of leaves last evening. One never knows.

I did some more yard work earlier this morning. It's so warm out that it has to be done early.

It's supposed to cool off some this week and I am really looking forward to that.

More later....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Quiet Wednesday

This should be a quiet day...notwithstanding it is a "work day" this afternoon. But Bob has a doctor's appointment this morning in Bartlesville near noon for the results of his CT scan and blood work tests of a couple of weeks ago. So I will not be cooking dinner this noon. I gave him my Garfield's coupon good for three dollars off a meal there. He may eat his lunch there. I hope his tests are all good. He will call me this evening to tell me about it. I will eat at Arby's this noon.

The rest of the week is fairly quiet after that busy day yesterday. I got home just in time last night to watch my new favorite TV show, The Mentalist. Then I took my bath and went to bed.

Tomorrow we will have sloppy joe sandwiches with cabbage topping and french fries.

I didn't sleep real well last night. I woke up at 3:00 and then had a problem trying to get back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 4:30 when I finally just got up.

More later....

I got my mower back from Carter's this morning and it did cost me an arm and a leg! However, it runs nicely now. He changed the oil, put a new battery in it and a new spark plug, and checked out the blade which he said would last me another season and a half before I would need a new one. He cleaned the mower up too.

Also, he checked out the belt and it was nearly worn through. He brought it and showed it to me. Then there was a thirty dollar charge for picking it up and delivering it.

It cost $274.28 altogether.

But I mowed this morning for the first time in a month. My yard looks a lot better but it needs to be trimmed now. Maybe on Friday or Saturday I can get that done.

After I had my smoothie, I went out and finished the raking and bagging of the leaves. When I get the trimming done, the yard will look a lot neater. I think there are 20 bags of leaves out there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Busy, Busy Tuesday

Listening to the news this morning, I think Romney may have made a mistake in choosing Paul Ryan as a vice president. Ryan's ideas may be too radical for seniors. His suggestion to change Medicare to a voucher system, even for future generations, may prove to be a mistake. And his idea to privatize social security may also be a problem for Romney. It did that for Bush. That idea failed.

In the Paul Ryan tax plan, approved by House Republicans (but never approved by the Senate) cuts capital gains tax rates to zero, and creates a top tax rate on ordinary income at 25%. So the tax experts around the country took the one year of Romney taxes that we DO have, and recalculated it under the Ryan tax plan.

So guess what Romney's new tax rate would have been?

0.83 percent. That is LESS than 1% in taxes.

No wonder Romney chose him as his running mate. Such a deal!

Social Security can be easily fixed for a couple decades past the 2032 date usually cited (and it doesn't actually crash at that point, rather, like defense costs, we will need to budget for the expenditures). During the Clinton administration, 90% of employment income was subject to Social Security tax. But because top management salaries went through the roof in the last couple of decades, only about 83% of employment income is now being taxed. If we went back to the 90%, mainly by raising the cap to rise with the inflation of management salaries, the "problem" goes away.

Ryan's plan doesn't do this, however, because it would be "punishing" the rich to make them pay the same social security rates as the "little folk."

Medicare is a different story, but the Ryan plan, which is to hand the elderly a voucher for purchasing health insurance, does nothing except put the bill back on seniors. Every other developed country is seriously looking at the most cost-effective ways to deliver medicine, usually with better outcomes than ours. We have normally refused to do so, because that would interfere with the "free market" in health care, which does not in fact exist. If you are dying and you go to the hospital, the "free market" has NOTHING to do with your outcome.

Interestingly, health care cost increases HAVE moderated below expectations in the last couple of years, and the insurance companies are trying to figure out why. One reason appears to be that hospitals and health clinics are beginning to implement review procedures in anticipation of the ACA implementation, and they are saving money (surprise, surprise).

Enough on politics.

Today will be very busy for me. I have an appointment in Independence at 9:15 this morning. Then after that, I drive to Caney to deliver those school supplies. Then I come back home in time to start dinner. After that, I'll go to work.

After work, I have the library board meeting. Following that, I do the invocation at the city commission meeting. After that, I'll come back home.

I should sleep well tonight.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Working Day Monday

I will do some cleaning in the bathrooms this morning. I went out later to bag up leaves again and I got six new ones done before I had to come in and start dinner. I went to the market and bought sugar and potatoes. I used the last of my potatoes in the hamburger pie I made yesterday. I also need milk and I got that at Braums.

Bob will be coming over at 11:30 for dinner. We are having hamburger steaks, potatoes, gravy, veggies, salad (coleslaw he brings) and for dessert we will have the cherry pie cake left from yesterday's dinner at church.

Then I go to work.

Yesterday I heard from Aime, the director of the SER program where I work. She wants me to attend the Job Fair in Independence on Wednesday afternoon. They will pay me to do that. No one will hire someone my age though unless it's Brahms or Wal Mart and I don't want to work at either of those places. But I may as well go, I guess.

More later...

I decided not to go to the job fair after all on Wednesday. I consider it just a waste of time. I have to go to Independence tomorrow morning and then on to Caney to take school supplies to the Caney elementary school. That's enough travel for one week.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Again

Well it's Sunday again and I am fixing a hamburger pie for a dinner we are having after church. I still have to do the dessert. It's called cherry pie cake and is one of those dump cake desserts. I'll get to that shortly.

Right now, I'm curious. Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate and the only thing I know about Paul Ryan is that he has proposed a revolutionary budget to eliminate the deficit. From what I have read about it, it is too revolutionary for the poor and middle class. Governor Brownback of Kansas has already done enough damage by eliminating the tax refund on food for low income folks in Kansas. I am curious to know more about Paul Ryan. I checked with to see what that Pulitzer prize winning site had to say and it was a mixed bag. I have posted a question about him on my church's web board and am curious to see what some of the very bright folks there have to say about him.

Anyhow, I had better get my dessert finished before it becomes too late to fix it.

More later....

I have the dessert in the oven so I'll get back to reading the blogs. It's 7:30 AM now.

Much later....

5:15 in the afternoon. I have the dinner over with and it was a success. I also have my newsletters finished and am just relaxing. Tonight at 7:00, I have the Living the Questions group to attend.